Issues with Daily Repeating Tasks that repeat in the evening

I have a number of daily repeating tasks that I use to both remind me to do the task, and also to keep track of how often I do them. The issue is that I don’t necessarily get to them every day but I want the reminder to defer till the following morning whenever I check them off.

Example - I have a task called ‘Do Nightly Meditation’ that is set to defer to 6pm and is due at 11:30pm. It is currently set to defer another one day so that if I skip it occasionally it doesn’t matter. This way it repeats daily but if I forget to do it I can just tick it off the following night and I don’t end up with another task being created for the night I missed. The issue arrises if I happen to mark it as done after midnight, which is prone to happen (I might do it at 12:30am just before I go to sleep). In this instance it will then of course skip the following evening since it defers it a full 24 hours.

What I want to do is set it to be due again at the next 11:30pm regardless of when it was ticked off. Is there any way to do this? This way if I tick it off after midnight it will still show up the following evening.

How is this spam ?!?!?!

“Due again: 1 day” will give you the results you’re looking for, but then as you noted you’ll end up checking off items for days when you didn’t actually use the task.

Full disclosure: we’ve gotten one (as in exactly one) request to cover a scenario like this in the app - it’s not impossible, but to be honest, it’s not likely to be something we’ll be able to devote time to anytime soon at the very best.

Since the task does get occasionally skipped, I’d encourage you to experiment with removing the due date/time and then just using the “Defer Another” repeat type.

Most likely cause here is a mis-click by another member of the community; I don’t see any of the notices that get generated when Discourse decides on its’ own that something is spam in the admin queue. Either way: apologies!

Actually, I very much appreciate the question. At the risk of being redundant or repeating myself, please humor the following example:

Continuing with the “take bedtime medication”

  1. Created item called “Take bedtime medication”
  2. Set task due at 11:55pm.
  3. Set repeat to: due again after 1 day.
  4. Go to bed before midnight, look at task list … “Ah, I don’t want
    to forget to take my bedtime medication.” I take the medication,
    check off the item and go to bed. The next day, there it is again,
    due at 11:55pm and all is right with the world.
  5. Go to bed after midnight, look at list … “Ah, I don’t want to
    forget to take my bedtime medication.” I take the medication,
    check off the item and go to bed. The next day, it’s not there.

I chronically forget to take this medication but I’m religious about looking at OF before I go to sleep.

What to do? How would adding a defer time to the task, then setting the repeat to defer after 5 hours? What would that do the task? Is there something similar or different I could do to achieve these results?

Basically, I want to be able to check off a task when I go to sleep (usually around midnight) and be confident that it will be there the following night, due at the same time. Sure, I’d like to go to bed before midnight every night - that would be ideal, but it’s not always possible. Taking my medication every night is non-negotiable. Having it repeat daily causes clutter and, if I forget to check it off or delete the additional (unnecessary) task, I’m reminded to take my medication twice … bad idea - my doctor would not be pleased.

As it is, if I’m going to bed after midnight, I look at my list - see that I need to take my medication and then take it but I don’t cross it off the list. I simply hope that I’ll remember that I’ve taken if I look at my list again. Fortunately, for me, I have a way to “check” so that I don’t take my meds twice. But if I relied entirely on OF for this, I’d be SOL.

I don’t care how much work it takes to “set up” the task so it does what I want. But once I’ve put in the parameters, I want it to work. Isn’t that the point?

Also, you mentioned that no one has ever requested this. Maybe what I’m describing is something different, but seems like it would be a common situation. What about people who do shift work? In any situation in which something is due before midnight, but completed after midnight and then needs to be back on the list for the next (awake) day, due before midnight.

Thanks much.

“Repeat Every” sounds like what you’re looking for, as well - I’d encourage you to give it a try with and without a due date attached; if neither of those options work for your purposes, let us know more details and we’re happy to help.

The feature request I mentioned yesterday is fairly narrow - it specifically had to do with altering the way “due every” repeats that were near midnight were handled. I can’t report back on why more folks haven’t written in requesting it because I don’t know. ;-)

That said, if ‘repeat every’ works for your task, it may be that there just aren’t that many folks using ‘due every’ for tasks that are completed that close to midnight…

I guess there are two ways of handling this.

Option 1 - Omnifocus lets us choose when the day resets (default is midnight) but we could choose another time if we want - e.g. 3am. This might lead to issues with syncing though. The setting would have to be mirrored on all devices.

Option 2 - Let us ‘repeat every’ or ‘defer to’ a specific time - e.g. defer till 11am or repeat every 6pm. This would mean that tasks just defers until the next 6pm. This could be in 23 hours or 1 hour - it makes no difference.

Probably the latter is the better solution.

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Those are some excellent and elegant solutions, @saltedlolly. If this functionality isn’t part of OF already (I’m guess it’s not), I wonder if anyone has written an Apple-script thingy to make this happen.

Anyone? Anyone? Ferris? Anyone?

The more I continue to try to figure out the best solution for this, the more I realize that your “Option 1” is truly the simplest, most elegant solution. It seems obvious. This would accomplish a number of different objectives:

  1. I want the day to reset when I’m fairly certain I will be asleep. For me, that is reliably at 4:00am (even with insomnia and/or getting up early).
  2. This accommodates those who work odd shifts.

Actually, I can’t think how this wouldn’t address all of my concerns about this and seems like there should be a simply way to accomplish this. Nothing is sacred about 12:00am.

Is there a simple why to change when the day resets? Is there a complicated way? Is there an “inelegant but it will work for now” work-around?

If there is not, I will submit this as a feature request, formally.

Thanks all.

Has someone written an Apple-script to enable the daily “reset” time to be something other than midnight? This would solve all of my problems in the area.


I have just stumbled on a work around for this, though I haven’t had a chance to fully test it yet. It definitely shows promise though.

If you have a ritual that repeats every night before bed (e.g. Brush teeth and floss!) try this:

Defer until: Today 21:00
Due: Today 23:55
Repeat: Due Again 23 hours

The reason for choosing 23 hours is to ensure that it always defers to the following evening even if you tick it off after midnight. By choosing 23 hours it’ll roll the time back an hour - useful if you tick it off late - e.g. 2am.

I don’t remember if this ability to repeat after x number of hours (rather than days/months/years) has always been there or if this feature has recently been added. Either way, I don’t remember noticing it before…

In my limited testing (so far) this seems to still show up the following evening, even if you check it off after midnight. :)
I will report back if I find any problems. I’m not sure yet what happens if you skip a day…

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UPDATE: I’ve now been using this for several days now and so far it seems to work great, even when you skip a day. This makes me very happy since my evening rituals can now be checked off like my morning ones, even after midnight. :)

Let me know if you find any issues - so far this seems to work great.

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